CAST: Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh, Julia Ormond, Emma Watson
DIRECTOR: Simon Curtis
In the early summer of 1956, 23 year-old Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne), just down from Oxford and determined to make his way in the film business, worked as a lowly assistant on the set of ‘The Prince And The Showgirl’, the film that united Sir Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh) with Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams), who, whilst shooting, was also on honeymoon with her new husband, the playwright Arthur Miller.
Nearly 40 years on, his diary account ‘The Prince And The Showgirl And Me’ was published, but one week was missing, and this is the story of that week: an idyll in which he escorted a Monroe desperate to get away from her retinue of Hollywood hangers-on and the pressures of working. When Arthur Miller makes a brief trip to Paris, the coast is clear for Colin to introduce her to some of the pleasure of British life.
The collision of the two worlds – old England and new Hollywood – is as incongruous as it is delightful. Slowly Marilyn begins to shake off the dark fog of insecurity and fear always hovering around her. She reacts with lovely naturalness to this alien world and as she relaxes she offers Colin fleeting insights into her own background one of family madness, single-minded ambition and uninhibited sexuality. Simply and without self-pity, she relates the take of her rise to the top in Hollywood: a story involving abuse of one form or another at the hands of almost every man she has ever known, abuse that has left her with only the thinnest of protective layers.
She is not without her contradictions; everyone wants something from her, but she too is fixated on the life she has chosen and is quite unable to leave it, even though the pressure is crushing her…
…and yet, for a moment, lost in the English countryside, it seems she might finally escape.